I'm back, bitches! I've had to involuntarily take some time off due to moving and getting settled, but I should be back on track now and have a new blog each week.
Do you want to know the shittiest part about moving? My new kitchen is tiny. I have half as many cabinets and nowhere to put all of my stuff. My counters, stove, and floor were piled with boxes for a couple of weeks while I kept bringing in more boxes and unpacking what I could. But there is no space! I had no room for my various baking dishes, all of my food, or my small appliances. I also only have ONE cabinet under the counter in which I can put pots and pans. One? Seriously? My canning pot lives outside in the storage closet now. I can't see any way that I'll have room to home-can apple butter this year.
I haven't had room or time to cook anything. And you guys, I fucking hate spending money on fast food. Also, the food is gross. It makes me feel disgusting, groggy, and fat. I also don't want to eat out at a real restaurant every day. So what the fuck is a girl to do?
Freshly. They send fully cooked, freshly prepared meals in individual servings right to your door. No pots and pans or even plates needed! All you need is a microwave, a knife, and a fork. I know what you're wondering, though... Is it worth it? Maybe...
When I opened my first Freshly shipment, I was both stunned and thrilled to see THREE LARGE ICE PACKS! As a comparison, Hello Fresh only had one large ice pack with their deliveries. Home Chef merely contained one small ice pack. Blue Apron uses two large ice packs. The insulation in the box was good and it's biodegradable. I opened the top of the insulation and saw the first ice pack. Underneath, I found the first two packages of food. Then another ice pack, four more trays of food, and the final ice pack. It was packed very well and all of the ice packs still had some solidness to them.
You can choose four, six, nine, or twelve meals a week. Each meal is one serving. I chose six different meals. The choices are immense. They had TWENTY-SIX different lunch/dinner choices and seven choices for breakfast. They always have a minimum of thirty choices every week. They blow everyone else I've seen out of the water. You just can't beat the variety offered by Freshly.
I chose six meals for the introductory price of $40. After my first two weeks, it would have gone back up to the regular price of $10 per meal, but I canceled it. After two weeks, I was ready to start cooking again and I didn't need these convenience meals. I also didn't need the expense of $240 a month when I'm trying to pay all of my bills by myself on a limited budget. (All of my husband's money is going toward his hair transplants. I don't care that he's bald, so I won't have my money going toward his vanity. He can pay for that dumb shit himself.) For people who are slightly better off than me, I think this is a really great deal. A cost of ten bucks is way cheaper than a restaurant, and the food is just as good. Reheating a freshly cooked meal in the microwave is so much easier than cooking from scratch. It also tastes far better than cheaper frozen dinners.
Everything was perfect portions. I didn't have too much, and I was not left hungry. The size of the chicken breasts and steak were just right. The potatoes, green beans, rice, etc. were all good amounts. I liked that I wasn't still hungry like after a frozen dinner, or stuffed to the brim from the huge portions in restaurants.
I enjoyed most of the meals I was sent. The chicken with risotto and spring peas was fantastic. And I am such a picky eater. Picky enough that I was hesitant to order the peppercorn steak. I'm not a big pepper person, but I'm really glad I got this one. I didn't have high expectations for a microwaved steak, but it was fucking amazing! The meat was tender and juicy. I did not encounter large chunks of pepper, which was also great. The gravy was quite peppery, but I didn't have the shock of crunching down on a hunk of pepper, and that is something I always hate.
The Bad and the Ugly
If you've read my blog before, you might have figured out that I don't see the world through rose-colored glasses. But, I'm not a pessimist, so I don't see the world through shit-colored glasses, either. I'm a realist; I don't wear any glasses. I am also a perfectionist. I strive for perfection in all that I do and I frequently fall short. I'm hardest on myself, but I know I'm hard on others, too. I try to be fair, though. I try to present both sides. I make a real effort to not just bitch-bitch-bitch about things. Hence, the good news first. Next, I'm going to tell you what I didn't like about Freshly.
Freshly touts itself "Deliciously Healthy" on the sides of the large box it's delivered in. On the small sleeves each meal has around it, it says things like "Incredibly fresh, gluten free, nutrient dense, 100% all natural, no refined sugar, no artificial ingredients." This sounds awesome, right? It is. Really. It is great. They even use cage-free eggs! So why do I have this under bad and ugly? It's not low-fat, low-cholesterol, or low-sodium.
I have picked at random three meals from the six I got and added together the nutrition labels. This is one full day of meals provided by Freshly--a breakfast and two entrees.
- Calories: 1540 (cool)
- Total Fat: 74g / 129% (not cool)
- Sat. Fat: 31g / 155% (not cool)
- Trans Fat: 1g
- Cholesterol: 675mg / 259% (sooo not cool)
- Sodium: 1270mg / 75% (not cool)
- Carbs: 105g / 36% (umm...wha?)
- Fiber: 13g / 52% (not cool)
- Sugars: 21g (not bad)
- Protein: 98g (cool)
- Vitamin A: 225% (cool)
- Vitamin C: 105% (cool)
- Calcium: 55% (meh)
- Iron: 60% (meh)
That's it. Those are all of the things on their nutrition label. So, yeah. Nutrient dense, if you count bad things as nutrients, too. I just... I can't. I can't eat like that every day, even if I could afford it. Six out of seven breakfasts were omelets with super high cholesterol. What? No egg white omelets offered? Sorry. I'm out. And 75% sodium? No. I shouldn't have more than 800mg of sodium a day, so that's closer to 150% of my daily allowance.
Now, as I look through the three I didn't choose to add together, I do see some lower bad numbers. Here, I'll just show you.
The chewed-up cardboard is not from me. My cat likes to gnaw on paper and cardboard because she's a freak. I also couldn't read most of the chewed-up label for the turkey with quinoa stuffing that I got. It was really good, though.
Another thing I didn't care for was the fact that I had only 24-hours between receiving my first delivery and the cut-off for choosing the meals for my second delivery. As a result, I wound up deleting a meal I enjoyed and repeating a meal I did not. Yeah...
Freshly isn't right for me to eat every day or every week, but it might be perfect for you. It is fantastically convenient for people with busy lives who need to eat healthier than they do. These meals are great for people who want homecooked-style meals that don't take a long time to prepare. I feel like this food is oh, so much healthier than eating fast food for every meal. It is easier than cooking every meal you eat from scratch.
It takes less time than going out to eat at or pick food up from a restaurant. They are great for taking to work and tossing into the microwave. In fact, Freshly is even better than leftovers! These meals seem to be cooked to just the right point where they finish cooking as they reheat. You know how when you reheat your leftovers, they're overcooked and not as good? These aren't overcooked. They're cooked just right, as long as you follow the directions. Letting it rest after cooking is important to let it finish cooking.
And the cost? Heeeeyyyy! It costs the same as many ingredient delivery services! Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, Sun Basket, etc. etc. all have options that cost $10 per serving. Those are things you have to cook yourself, and these are already cooked! So, yeah... I think it is worth the price they charge.
Check it out here and get $20 off each of your first two deliveries. That's only $40 a week for six yummy, super simple meal.
I'd also like to note that none of the companies I review on my blog have ever compensated me in any way for writing about them. I don't do this for free shit. I do it to share my observations and experiences with others. I pay for these services just like everyone else. If you ever want to try one of them, why not use my links so I get a little bit off my next order for referring you?